http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.12Change: -0.11
R/$ = 15.01Change: -0.10
Au 1278.71 $/ozChange: 1.89
Pt 1063.00 $/ozChange: 1.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Mar 02, 2012

Alternative renewables ownership models come under the spotlight at Numsa conference

Back
Africa|Building|Eskom|Nuclear|Power|Projects|Solar|Sustainable|Water|Africa|Manufacturing
Africa|Building|Eskom|Nuclear|Power|Projects|Solar|Sustainable|Water|Africa|Manufacturing
africa-company|building|eskom|nuclear|power|projects|solar|sustainable|water|africa|manufacturing



The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) recently hosted an international conference on alternative models of ownership for renewables other than independent power producers (IPPs). International delegates came from Mexico, China, Venezeula and France, besides other countries, to speak about their experiences.

Numsa, of all the Congress of South African Trade Unions affiliates, has been most active with respect to green economy issues and renewables. The trade union also has active shop stewards involved in green economy issues in different sectors. Numsa’s coordinated approach is impressive.

Numsa is also opposed to nuclear power and sees renewables as a strategic intervention to stimulate green growth. Numsa’s priority is employment growth and it wants to ensure that any green economy investments driven by the public sector are stable, reach critical mass and are sustainable. Numsa, like so many unions, is an ally of the green economy, but only if this is not all about profiteering and a new form of worker exploitation. The green economy is an important part of the real economy – it has the potential, if implemented in the right way, to expand our manufacturing base.

The Numsa conference focused on how renewables development is managed and who benefits from the stimulation of this sector around the world as this could foretell the future of the sector in South Africa.

There is always the danger that the green economy becomes a rapacious rent-seeking affair in which national interests become subsidiary to greed. There is already an element of that in the solar water heating industry – if one considers the plethora of companies that have flourished on the back of a subsidy and government procurement. Subsidies should temporarily lift the economics of green technologies but, if they are not well managed, they are often gamed for rents.

Numsa’s conference opened a new vista of debate that should be welcomed, and proposals coming out of the conference should be given some thought. So far, we have only two types of ownership models: State and private. Eskom is building a sliver of renewables and the rest of the projects are being roll out by private developers.

The Numsa conference facilitated an exposition of many alternative models and options to mull over, drawing from international experience.

There is nothing to suggest that IPPs cannot be community owned but the IPP concept driven by the National Treasury’s public–private partnerships unit is based on a distinct ‘private owned’ model.

Why did Numsa take an opposite view to the prevailing IPP model? Ownership matters because it defines the weight of public interest compared with private self- interest. This, in really, is the nub of the question that the Numsa conference sought to under- stand and debate. Numsa was seeking to unpack a few things. The trade union was seeking to open the debate on alternative models of ownership where the social dividend is greater than excessive profit taking. It posited that the IPP model, as it stands, needs to diversify opportunities for alternative forms of ownership and the conference debated questions about who owns the green economy, as the roll-out of the IPP procurement process may not necessarily lead to high enough levels of localisation because an IPP approach may be too fragmented to support greater thresholds of localisation. Numsa was also seeking to demonstrate the poverty of ideas and the lack creativity in the current model of renewables procurement.

Currently, communities can participate in private-led initiatives either as joint shareholders or through broad-based black economic-empowerment arrangements. But the private ownership model is the dominant model for IPPs in South Africa.

International delegates shared experiences on costs related to the roll-out of renewables using a private-sector- driven IPP model, compared with a public-sector-owned and -driven renewables build programme. Depending on the rate of return demanded by shareholders, certain types of ownership models can deliver a public good at much lower costs than a pure privately owned model.

Lots of examples were given of how local communities in Denmark, France, Germany and Mexico evolved renewables ownership models where communities owned wind or solar projects. Community shareholders also had access to soft loans from cooperatives and State or development banks.

Numsa fired the first salvo with respect to thinking about alternative models. At the end of the conference, Numsa said it recognised that the current IPP process could not be stalled, but that it could be influenced. Numsa is thinking of establishing a ‘Bid Watch’ initiative to ensure that the current bid process is not subject to corruption and is run in a way that ensures diversification of ownership and other social benefits.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Saliem Fakir News
Updated 7 hours ago We are in an interrugnam, as Marxists would say. We are stuck in a nineteenth- or twentieth-century-type economic model that sits in the way of doing things in South Africa and contrasts with a twenty-first century technology shift and an alternative way to think...
The debate about whether or not we need nuclear power is raging among energy experts and policymakers. Sometimes it feels like it is a done deal and then it is not. Bidders have been asked to submit requests for information (RfI) as government pushes ahead with its...
There is water and there is no water. A physical resource may be abundant but it is scarce – through waste, poor pricing, inefficient allocation or the inability of human systems to keep up with the latest technologies. A resource may be scarce but it is abundant...
More
 
 
Latest News
Emira CEO Geoff Jennett
The JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has invested over R250-million in acquiring new centres and upgrading its shopping centres to strengthen its retail assets, according to Emira CEO Geoff Jennett, who stated on Thursday that the company was investing strategically....
Equites CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan
JSE-listed Equites Property Fund achieved an 18.3% year-on-year increase in distributions to 96.6c a share for the year ended February 29. “The distribution growth reflects the strong property fundamentals of the Equites logistics portfolio,” Equites CEO Andrea...
It takes a coherent company to successfully and sustainably close the gap between strategy and execution in Africa, and one of the key factors in doing so is unconventional leadership, which is needed to foster the behavior required of coherent companies, according...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago Following the drop in commodity prices and China’s demand for Africa’s resources, African economies were slumping and gross domestic product growth was stagnating in most of the continent’s emerging markets, said the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or...
Updated 7 hours ago The New Development Bank, a multilateral lender formerly known as the Brics Development Bank, will provide $811-million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in four nations.
Updated 7 hours ago South African car and bakkie exports into Africa declined for the third year in a row in 2015, falling from 79 228 units in 2012, to 77 589 units in 2013, 60 189 units in 2014, and 41 446 units last year – this according to the Automotive Industry Export Council’s...
Updated 7 hours ago Networking systems multinational Cisco is training 75 people as part of a pilot project to develop specialist networking skills in South Africa, says Cisco South Africa CTO Vernon Thaver. The trainees were nominated by and selected from Cisco’s local partners and...
Updated 7 hours ago The threat landscape is changing, along with technologies, impacting on new fields, such as industrial infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly connected. Smart cities are also developing fast through connected devices, Web services and cloud solutions, but...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149